Possible break in Hernando teen's 1977 disappearance

Published: Nov. 10, 2009 at 1:48 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2009 at 12:12 PM CST
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By Jason Miles - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

HERNANDO, MS (WMC-TV) - Monday, Warren Armstrong recalled the constant prayers of his mother Mary on her death bed.

"Said, Lord, let me find out what happened to my child," he said.

The disappearance of his older brother, Jerry Lee, remains shrouded in mystery decades after his presumed death.

"It hurts..take it from me," Armstrong said.

Jerry Lee vanished after leaving a holiday dance at the National Guard Armory in Hernando back on December 23rd, 1977.  His family believes the high school quarterback may have been mistaken for another brother, whose car he was driving.  Family members say that brother was possibly targeted by the Ku Klux Klan for having a white girlfriend.

DNA samples from the Armstrong family are currently being compared with human remains found on a riverbank in Poinsett County, Arkansas 32 years after Jerry Lee was last seen.

Those remains likely belong to a black male the same age as the missing teen.

"It's a long shot, but we're hoping that it is a match," Commander Fred Perez of the DeSoto County Sheriff's Department."

Warren Armstrong hopes to one day give Jerry Lee a proper burial, before dealing with those who may have been behind his disappearance.

"When you think you've gotten away with it, you have not," he said.

DeSoto County was contacted by officials in Arkansas after finally entering Jerry Lee Armstrong's information into the National Center for Missing Adults database.

They could know if there's a DNA match by the end of the week.

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